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DTaP - the DTaP shot protects against 3 different illnesses. These include Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis (whooping cough). All three diseases cause breathing problems which can lead to death. The "a" stands for acellular, and this newer formulation of vaccine does not cause the fever and fussiness that the older vaccine would cause. This is a series of 5 shots.

Hep A – This vaccine protects your child against the hepatitis A virus, which causes a liver disease. The long-term physical consequences of hepatitis A are far less serious than those of hepatitis B or C. Still, a bout of hepatitis A is no fun, and the worst cases can cause liver damage and even death.  Hepatitis A is the most common type of hepatitis in the United States, with the highest rates among children ages 5 to 14. The virus may cause symptoms such as fever, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, and sometimes jaundice, but it doesn't always cause symptoms, particularly in children.  This is a series of 2 shots.

Hep B – The hepatitis B vaccine (HBV) protects your child against the hepatitis B virus, which can lead to liver damage and even death.  Hepatitis B is highly infectious. About 1.25 million people in the United States have the virus, and 20 to 30 percent of them acquired the disease in childhood. Many of them never feel sick and don't know they have it, but those who become infected as children are more likely to have long-term health problems such as cirrhosis and liver cancer.   This is a series of 3 shots. 

Hib - The Hib vaccine protects your child from the Haemophilus influenzae type b bacteria, which can cause epiglottitis (severe swelling in the throat that makes it hard to breathe), a serious form of pneumonia, and a disease called bacterial meningitis.

Meningitis is an infection of the membrane covering the brain and spinal cord that can lead to lasting brain damage and deafness in young children, and can sometimes be fatal. Haemophilus influenzae can also cause serious joint and skin infections as well as other less common infections.

IPV - This vaccination protects against polio disease, which causes paralysis and death. The inactivated polio vaccination is now routinely given in the United States immunization schedule. Although the polio drink is more effective, it is no longer given in the U.S. because there has not been an outbreak of polio here since 1979. There is no risk of acquiring polio disease from the inactivated vaccine. This is a series of 4 shots.

Prevnar - This vaccination protects against serious diseases caused by the bacteria Strep pneumoniae. These include meningitis, pneumonia, sinus and ear infections. It was licensed by the Food and Drug Administration in January 2000 and recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics in June 2000. It is a series of 4 shots beginning at 2 months of age. Side effects are minimal, and include fever, crankiness, and redness at the injection site.


Rotovirus – This vaccine protects against rotavirus, the most common cause of acute gastroenteritis (vomiting and diarrhea) in babies and young children in the United States and around the world.  Rotavirus causes severe diarrhea. It can also cause fever, vomiting, and dehydration. It's extremely contagious, and spreads easily through ordinary person-to-person contact. Good hygiene and sanitation don't effectively stop rotavirus disease, so immunization is your best defense.

MMR - This vaccine protects against Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (German measles). Measles disease causes a rash, but can also cause pneumonia, seizures, and death. Mumps disease causes swollen glands in the jaws, hearing loss, and meningitis. German measles disease causes mild infection in children. However, if an unimmunized pregnant women gets the disease, it causes the fetus to have mental retardation, deafness, and blindness.

Because this is a "live-attenuated" vaccine, some children with immune defects cannot be immunized. This is a series of 2 shots.

Side effects commonly seen are fever and or a measles-like rash 1-2 weeks after vaccination.

Varivax - This vaccine protects against the chickenpox. Chickenpox disease causes a rash, but can also cause pneumonia, brain damage, and death.

The vaccine has significantly reduced the number of cases and severity of chickenpox disease since its introduction in 1995. The vaccine is given one time to children at 1 year of age who have not had the disease. It is required for school entry at any age in the State of Texas. So, if you have a child born before 1995 who has not had chickenpox, he will also need to be vaccinated.

Menactra - The meningococcal vaccine, Menactra, which became available in 2005, protects teenagers and young adults against meningitis and bloodstream infections caused by meningococcus.  Before the vaccine came along, meningococcal disease was the leading cause of bacterial meningitis (an infection of fluid around the brain and spinal cord) in children in the United States.  This is one dose. 

HPV – (Girls only) - The vaccine, recommended for girls ages 11 to 12, is given in three doses. It's highly effective at preventing HPV infections, including the two types that cause most cervical cancers.

HPV is the most common sexually transmitted disease in the United States today, with about 20 million people now infected. It's most common in people in their late teens and early 20s. And it's the leading cause of cervical cancer.

Td - Older children, adolescents, and adults need routine protection from Tetanus and Diptheria.  Tetanus (Lockjaw) causes painful muscle spasms, usually all over the body. It can lead to tightening of the jaw muscles so the victim cannot open his mouth or swallow.   Diptheria causes a thick covering in the back of the throat.  It can lead to breathing problems, paralysis, heart failure, and even death.  The diseases are caused by bacteria.  Diptheria is spread person to person.  Tetanus enters the body through cuts, scratches, or wounds. All adolescents who have not yet received a booster dose of Td are encouraged to get it.  All adults should get a booster dose of Td every 10 years.
 

For more information on immunizations, please refer to the Vaccine Information Statements from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

 

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